Health and Recipe Ingredients

You may wonder, while perusing the recipes on this site, why I use einkorn flour instead of regular wheat flour, and why some of the recipes are marked as “low oxalate” and have the oxalate content of foods listed.

Einkorn flour is an ancient grain, in fact it is the original wheat grain, before it was hybridized by humans.  Einkorn has weaker gluten, and contains less chromosomes than modern wheat varieties; it is thought that this may be why it is better tolerated by those with gluten intolerance.  It also has a higher nutrient content, along with a rich, buttery flavour; these factors make it my first choice for baking.  I no longer use modern wheat in my baking, and hardly ever eat it at all, due to a gluten intolerance.  Baking with einkorn flour takes a bit of getting used to, as it doesn’t absorb as much moisture or fat as the modern wheat varieties, but once you get the hang of it, it produces excellent results and superior flavour.  It can be difficult to find einkorn flour in Canada, but I have found an online source for whole grain einkorn here, and for all-purpose einkorn here.  In the U.S., both can be purchased from the jovial website.

Oxalates are a form of defense for some plants; they are tiny crystalline formations that are like daggers to small critters that would feed on the plants.  Normally, mammals have a particular bacteria in the gut called Oxalobacter formigenes which breaks down the oxalates, but certain antibiotics have the ability to kill off this bacteria, and at this time, there is so supplement available to replace this bacteria.  Oxalates are found in many foods, but are notably high in most nuts and seeds and some fruits and vegetables, such as spinach and rhubarb.

It’s difficult to avoid oxalates altogether, especially as many of the foods containing oxalates are also some of the most nutritious.  One of the best sources of information about oxalate food content that I’ve found is the Trying Low Oxalates group.  They pay to have foods lab tested for oxalate content, and have a downloadable oxalate food chart, as well as an email list for those interested in learning more about oxalate-related issues.  Dr. Susanne Bennett also has some good general information about oxalates on her website: https://drsusanne.com/blog/should-you-try-a-low-oxalate-diet/

The best treatment, that I have discovered personally, for dealing with the inability to digest oxalates is to replenish the good bacteria in the gut, and try to eliminate as much of the bad bacteria as possible.  Eliminating refined, processed foods from the diet and eating more whole grains and fresh fruits and vegetables are essential to this process.  It can also be helpful to follow a candida cleanse and diet for a while to assist in reducing this bad gut bacteria and allowing the good bacteria to thrive.

*Disclaimer:  Although I am passionate about the food-health connection, and have done a fair amount of research on the relationship between health and food, I am in no way, shape or form an expert!  The information I have gathered and opinions I have formed are based on my own health-specific research and on my own experiences.  If you have a health issue you need help with, I strongly advise you to do your own research and see a professional, if necessary.  One of the best websites I found for medical/scientific research is the National Center for Biotechnology Information.  If you are looking for more nutritional health information, there are many medical experts interviewed during the Food Revolution Summit, which airs for free every year. You can find more information about Functional Medicine, including finding a practitioner, at this website: https://www.ifm.org/functional-medicine/.